Although freer trade could lead to increased CO2 emissions as a result of raising economic activity, it can also help ease climate change, for example, by increasing the use of mitigation technologies, according to a new WTO/UNEP report. The report indicates that there is evidence that more open trade together with actions to combat climate change can drive global innovation including new products and processes that can stimulate new clean tech businesses.
The WTO/UNEP report on “Trade and Climate Change” examines the interaction between trade and climate change from four perspectives: the science of climate change; economics; multilateral efforts to tackle climate change; and national climate change policies and their effect on trade.
The global economy will be impacted by climate change, in sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism and transport infrastructure particularly in developing countries. These impacts will often have implications for trade, according to the study.
The report also concludes that greenhouse gas emissions will continue to increase globally unless there are significant changes to current laws, policies and actions.
The report highlights the effects that national measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to increase energy efficiency might have on international trade and the multilateral trading system. The report also reviews two types of pricing mechanisms that have been used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: taxes and emissions trading systems.